Two decades of same-sex marriage in Sweden: a demographic account

Gunnar Andersson, Stockholm University
Martin Kolk, Stockholm University

In this study we examine time trends in same-sex marriage formation and divorce in Sweden between 1995 and 2012. This period begins with the introduction of the registered partnership for same-sex couples and covers as well the introduction of formal same-sex marriage in 2009. We use register data for the complete population of Sweden, and contrast patterns for male and female same-sex unions with those of opposite-sex unions. Our study shows that female same-sex union formation has increased rapidly over the period, while trends for male same-sex unions show less of an increase. The introduction of same-sex marriage legislation appears to have had no noticeable effect on the formation of new same-sex unions. We find that divorce risks in the marital unions of two women are higher than in other types of marriages. We further find some evidence of convergence in divorce patterns over time. At the end of our study period male same-sex unions have the same divorce risk levels as opposite-sex marriages, while the elevated risks of divorce in female same-sex unions appear to have stabilized at levels somewhat lower than those observed at the late 1990s.

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Presented in Session 118: Union formation and singlehood